Saturday, 23 May 2015

Make no apology

I forgot to blog last night, largely, I assume, because there's very little to say! 

The day was spent cooking lasagnes for our Eurovision party tonight whilst Nathan wrote up the pattern for his epic shawl. All very gay! Brother Edward face-timed from Vienna itself where they're all having a fabulous time. Everyone's talking about the Spanish entry all of a sudden, which, of course, no one's seen because Spain go straight through to the final. I still maintain we're looking at Sweden or Russia as the winner. 

Apologies if I'm not making particular sense this morning... I think the alarm went off in the middle of a period of very deep sleep, because I had no idea why it was going off and what I was meant to be doing today until I asked Nathan!

The good news is that my phone is back in my grubby mits. What a huge relief it is to stop having to write texts on a brick of a phone. It's amazing how quickly we forget the folk crafts! 

The Loose Women thing rumbles on... I've been quoted in an article about it in the Pink Paper. It's funny: quite a lot of people are (rightly) emphasising Coleen Nolan's right to free speech, and that, just because we don't agree with something someone says, it doesn't mean we should automatically shut them up. This is absolutely true, but the issue I have is a subtler one... 

Should Coleen lose her job? No. Should she apologise or put the record straight? Yes. Should she be sacked if she continues to refuse to acknowledge the anger she's caused? Possibly. Should the gay community be given right of reply on the issue? Absolutely. Should ITV apologise for putting a one-sided "debate" on television in the run up to a very sensitive referendum in Ireland on a similar subject? Certainly. 

I think the bottom line in this instance is that there's a very unique and underhand form of intolerance which happens with the gay community where people still think it's okay to make us feel like we somehow need to keep quiet about our lifestyles because not everyone approves. Religious arguments are always at the tops of people's lists when justifying these kind of remarks. "What about the human rights of the people your sort offend?" They scream. And somehow this is deemed to be acceptable. Yet no one would EVER defend the human rights of a racist.

It's a curiously specific thing which LGBT people have dealt with for a lifetime. On the 29th March last year in England and Wales gay people finally became equal in the eyes of the law and I make no apologise for heavy-handedly defending our new rights, and making it clear that, in Northern Ireland, it is unacceptable that gay marriage isn't legal. Homophobia can be seething and subtle, but at the end of the day, Coleen, Janet and Jamelia were doing just one thing: justifying prejudice, and I don't think any other minority group would put up with that kind of footle. Frankly if it's unacceptable to make a type of remark about a black people,  then it should be unacceptable to make the same remark about gay one. That's why we have equality laws. 

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